Press Release
February 20, 2021

Bong Go urges gov't agencies to prioritize and maximize services for the poor amid difficult times: "Give all the help you can to poor Filipinos"

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go urged agencies in the Executive department to give all the assistance they can provide to poor and affected Filipinos amid the rising food prices, pandemic and other crisis situations in the country.

"I am urging the executive to do all possible help. Sa DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), sa kanilang TUPAD program (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged / Displaced Workers) para sa mga nawalan ng trabaho, at assistance to OFWs," said Go after personally leading the distribution of assistance in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte where he extended aid to over three hundred fisherfolks.

"Ito namang market natin, tulungan po natin na makabangon muli. Itong mga fishermen natin, mga kagamitan, itulong n'yo na po lahat. Sabi ko nga, pigain n'yo na po kung ano ang natitira sa gobyerno. 'Wag na natin ipasa ang paghihirap sa mamamayan. Kung maaari, ang gobyerno na ang pumasan ng paghihirap dahil 'yan naman po ang trabaho ng gobyerno," he added.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the rate of price increases in the country accelerated for the fourth consecutive month in January 2021 to 4.2%, primarily fueled by the rising prices of some meat products and vegetables, as well as fuel prices. This is the highest reported increase in inflation after 3.8% in February 2019.

Earlier, the government has set a 60-day price ceiling on pork and chicken in Metro Manila which started on February 8. This is to address rising prices of said meat products due to supply shortages brought by the African swine fever (ASF) and the illegal manipulations by some opportunistic businesses.

The inflation print in January exceeded the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' projection of 3.3 to 4.1% range for the month. Monetary authorities also said that it is possible for the inflation rate to breach the 2-4% inflation target in the coming months, but they maintain their projected rate to an average of 3.2% in 2021.

Meanwhile, Go also urged the government to assist micro, small and medium-sized enterprises so they can recover from the economic recession of 2020, one of the worst in the country's history.

"Kaya nakikiusap po ako sa gobyerno, kung ano po ang pwede nating mai-extend, ibigay na natin sa tao ang tulong. Kung anong ayuda ang pwede, anong trabaho ang pwede, anong maitutulong natin sa small and medium-sized enterprises natin na negosyo para makabangon sila at para makapagbigay din sila ng trabaho dito sa mga ordinaryong Pilipino," Go said.

For his part, Go said that he will continue to go around the country to aid vulnerable sectors and give them a glimmer of hope amid the country's current situation.

"Ako naman po, in my own capacity, tuluy-tuloy po ang aking tulong sa ating mga kababayan. Iikot po ako para sa mga fishermen, turismo na tinamaan, sa mga walang trabaho," Go said.

"Iba't ibang sektor ang tinamaan dito sa Samal. Bukas (ay) Misamis naman kami, may apektado rin pong (mga) pamilya roon, pati po rito sa Sto. Tomas (Davao del Norte), binaha rin po sila. May pandemya pa tayo, binaha pa, nasira pa ang mga bahay nila. Magbibigay po tayo nang konting tulong man lang sa kanila para makatawid tayo sa krisis na kinakaharap natin ngayon," he ended.

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